Luke Michael Yurkovich, 58, Willard, passed away on Friday, August 30, 2019, in a tragic farming accident. A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 11:30 a.m., at the Yurkovich farm in Willard.
Luke was born on June 18, 1961, in Marshfield, to Valentine and Sylvia (nee Jelercic) Yurkovich. He was a graduate of the class of 1979 from Greenwood High School. He was so proud to be the only senior who was never once caught drinking, and thus, was the only attendant from Greenwood High School that year at the National FFA Convention. He was also a graduate of the Farm Short Course through the University of Wisconsin. Luke was honored to serve on the North Hendren Dairy Cooperative Board. His grandfather was elected to the first board of directors in 1929, his father served in the 1960s, and Luke was elected to the board of directors in 2011, proudly following in their footsteps. In 2014, he was elected as vice president and was still serving to this day as North Hendren was in the process of dissolving. Luke sadly had to close the doors of a dream that his grandfather started so many years ago. Along with all of his other responsibilities, he added town of Mead supervisor to his list in 2011 and continued to this day. Luke met Judith Ksandr in May 1983 at Dale’s North Mound Tavern. It was love at first sight, Judy visiting from Chicago and Luke after a Dale’s ball tournament. After a three-year long-distance relationship, they married on Oct. 18, 1986. He and Judy began their life together farming alongside his parents and older sister, Bonnie, until they took over operations in 2009. They had the honor of hosting a Century Farm celebration in 2011 and were proud to have hosted the Greenwood Dairy Breakfast last summer, with the largest attendance ever recorded. Luke devoted his life to his farm, proudly carrying on his family’s heritage. He was a devoted husband to Judy and father to Brenden. They formed a strong bond only a father and son could have despite the struggles of autism all the while managing a busy life on the farm. From sun up to sun down, he put his blood, sweat, and tears into his land. Somewhere in between all of the hours spent milking, feeding, tending the heifer barn, and working the fields, he still managed to make time creating everlasting memories with his loved ones. He turned this living into a beautiful and unforgettable legacy. Luke deeply loved his basketball league. He was also very passionate about playing softball for Dale’s North Mound Tavern for many years. He was an outstanding shortstop, and made many lifelong friendships along the way. He was most passionate, though, about deer and bear hunting at the family’s hunting shack alongside his family and nearest and dearest of friends. He loved to ice fish, too, when he wasn’t hiding somewhere in a tree. He was the life of the party, constantly spreading laughter, cheer, and bottles of Crown and Slivovitz. He was also well known for his talent with a tambourine. Luke was selfless, always eager to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. He opened his home, heart, and farm as a mentor to many children and young adults throughout the years. He loved to joke around and lovingly razz his nieces and nephews and truly was the uncle of all uncles.
Luke is survived by his wife, Judy, of almost 33 years, and son, Brenden, 23 years old. He is further survived by his siblings: Richard (Gabe) Yurkovich, Mary Jo (Dennis) Sischo, Ed (Peggy) Yurkovich, and Kitty (Dale) Wolf; his mother-in-law, Mary Ann Ksandr (91); his sisters-in-law: Janeen (Alan) Wagner and Marcia (Doug) Morris; his nieces and nephews: Aaron (Autumn Hendricks) Sischo, Lacey (Stephen) Sischo, Amy Yurkovich, Kim (Mike) Anderson, Mitchell (Charissa) Yurkovich, Phil Yurkovich, Mike (Anne) Wolf, Nate (Liz Breu) Wolf, Caroline (Tyler Paquin) Wolf, Michelle (Roger) Bates, Melinda (Ben) Chamberlain, Joshua Taugner, Brad and Kayleigh Morris, Madison and Nathaniel Wagner, and Michelle (Roger) Bates; great-nieces and great-nephews; and many, many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Valentine & Sylvia Yurkovich; his sister, Bonnie Yurkovich; his father-in-law, Joseph Ksandr, two brothers-in-law: Jim Taugner and Leonard Ksandr; and two sisters-in-law: JoAnne Morris and Pam Weber.
Luke was the greatest husband, father, brother, uncle, and friend. His sarcastic wit, kind and compassionate soul, and zest for life will forever be missed.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.cuddiefh.com.
Cuddie Funeral Home, Greenwood, is assisting the family with arrangements.